Author Topic: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!  (Read 4829 times)

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Offline CanadianAvenger

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Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« on: June 19, 2014, 01:20:52 am »
http://kck.st/1lALo5D

Interesting take on the solar storage problem/solution. The concept is not bad, and is used an many applications already, just not sure what the return will be in this case.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 03:28:14 am »
I just don't really see this coming close to meeting their funding goal - regardless of the tech. The pledge structure just isn't crowdfunding-friendly I don't think.

Haven't looked at it too closely, but claims like this scream bullshit to me: "They can also augment geothermal heat pumps to reach 200% efficiency!"

Also, they are being misleading at best when calling it a "power plant" and describing it as "a safe, clean system of renewable energy production and storage".

My understanding of flywheel energy storage is that it does indeed work, but is quite expensive to build a storage unit due to the engineering required and the construction quality requirements. Also, they can be quite dangerous (NASA encases theirs in massive protective shrouds in case of a failure which would almost certainly rip the thing apart).
 

Offline PointyOintment

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 04:13:47 am »
I think this passage
Quote
After many years of research, French inventor André Gennesseaux and his team have perfected a safe, clean system of renewable energy production and storage—the Energiestro Flywheel ... which can be used in permanent quiet generators for homes and businesses. These generators can run on any type of renewable energy and even use biofuels (like canola oil) as a back-up. Flywheel generators also produce heat that can be recycled to cover home heating and hot water needs. They can also augment geothermal heat pumps to reach 200% efficiency!
might indicate that they intend it to be used in conjunction with a conventional ICE generator, but I'm really not sure what they mean there, or how they envision it being used with geothermal.

There's also this:
Quote
The Solar Flywheel is expected to have an infinite life because the steel flywheel operates in a vacuum enclosure  that does not allow air to enter and cause friction losses or damage to the flywheel.
without any mention of bearings, maglev or otherwise, anywhere on the page.

For reference, the greatest maintenance-free service life estimate I've ever seen is 1,300 years (for a device of similar complexity), which is quite a long time for something to work, but is far from the claim for these flywheels.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 04:18:39 am by PointyOintment »
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 10:03:51 am »
Quote
service life estimate I've ever seen is 1,300 years (for a device of similar complexity)

Is that pukka? It is seriously impressive!
 

Offline thinlayer

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 10:31:49 am »
Perhaps that's not too crazy. Storing solar energy solves the base load problem and batteries suck. There's a company in Sydney trying to use very large battery banks for exactly this. They are going to be popular when there is a deregulated energy market: your battery bank would buy power @1am for 12c per kWh, then discharges back into the grid at peak load say 7:30pm for 25c per kwH. Or it'd charge from your domestic solar when you are producing more than you use and that's a top idea because my local utility only pays 7c per kWh.

Batteries are soooo crap. Lossy and degrade badly with lifetime. And safety a big issue for Lithium even if not lossy. Flywheel? Bearing is only loss if a vacuum is present.

It's seriously dangerous though. To get a couple of kW into a flywheel it has to be quite heavy, spin fast and I sure don't want that near my kids. Bearings fail with a statistical MTBF to tell you how many walls are going to be busted down by enormous kinetic energy weaponised flywheels. Like a car through a brick veneer living room. Old style metal presses used big flywheels and would take a while to spin up. Stress fractures in the frames would eventually fail and catastrophic failures would release the flywheel into the factory. Good bye wall. They don't use them anymore.
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 10:35:52 am »
Wasn't something similar used already. Huge solar farm with mirrors and liquid salts running inside pipes. They could generate power even if the sun went down since the salt still had some energy trapped in it?
http://gigaom.com/2013/10/09/a-huge-solar-farm-with-molten-salt-storage-is-ready-to-go-live-in-arizona/
 

Offline rob77

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2014, 10:57:20 am »
might indicate that they intend it to be used in conjunction with a conventional ICE generator, but I'm really not sure what they mean there, or how they envision it being used with geothermal.

my 2 cents

ICEs got a terrible efficiency at other than nominal load - you can greatly improve end-to-end efficiency of a standard ICE electric generator just by adding the flywheel - the engine starts up in some interwals and store it's energy into the flywheel (at nomimal ICEs output power - with good efficiency) and then the generator takes the energy from the flywheel.

imagine a 10kW internal combustion engine with efficiency 40% @ 10kW , but that engine will have a terrible fuel efficiency at 0.2kW load... so you speed up the flywheel with the 10kW, shut down the engine and the flywheel provides the 0.2kW to the generator.. once the flywheel need another kick, the ICE will be started up again for a short period.. you will end up with a much much better end-to-end efficiency this way. of course if you need 5kW of electricity the ICE will be running almost continuously.

i can imagine this setup to be ideal for installations with small continuous power demand with occasional high power demand.
 

Offline thinlayer

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 11:13:48 am »
Flywheel storage could actually be a good idea for managing grid peak/base load fluctuations... and to deal with the safety you have all the flywheels pointed toward a river? Or lake? Then you could really begin to trade energy as the price fluctuated with demand. I'd like to know how many flywheels you'd need to make a real difference; it's going to be a lot obviously.

I'm not saying Energiestro looks good; far from it. But the concept might have merit vs batteries.

 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 12:11:51 pm »
so you speed up the flywheel with the 10kW, shut down the engine and the flywheel provides the 0.2kW to the generator.. once the flywheel need another kick, the ICE will be started up again for a short period..

Basically, you've described a hit and miss engine :-)

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Offline rob77

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 01:46:36 pm »
so you speed up the flywheel with the 10kW, shut down the engine and the flywheel provides the 0.2kW to the generator.. once the flywheel need another kick, the ICE will be started up again for a short period..

Basically, you've described a hit and miss engine :-)



yes, that's it ! ;) but instead of the 10% efficiency of the hot bulb, you drive the flywheel with modern diesel with 40%+ thermal efficiency (btw. the flywheel in the setup is rotating much faster and storing much more energy than the hit and miss engine's flywheel)
 

Online Nerull

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2014, 02:32:48 am »
Flywheel storage could actually be a good idea for managing grid peak/base load fluctuations... and to deal with the safety you have all the flywheels pointed toward a river? Or lake? Then you could really begin to trade energy as the price fluctuated with demand. I'd like to know how many flywheels you'd need to make a real difference; it's going to be a lot obviously.

I'm not saying Energiestro looks good; far from it. But the concept might have merit vs batteries.

When a flywheel fractures, pieces are thrown out in a 360 degree arc with enough energy to kill or seriously damage structures. You can't 'point' it at something harmless, unless you stick them in a cave/large bunker. It needs to be completely surrounded.

Lab centrifuges are essentially flywheels, carrying quite a lot of energy. If a student so much as forgets to make sure his sample vials are exactly the same weight, the centrifuge could essentially explode. They're shielded with thick steel plating to protect against this, but there are several reports of rotor parts going through the steel plating, then continuing through any nearby walls.
 

Offline rob77

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Re: Energiestro -- This one's got wheels... literally!
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2014, 06:26:12 am »
Flywheel storage could actually be a good idea for managing grid peak/base load fluctuations... and to deal with the safety you have all the flywheels pointed toward a river? Or lake? Then you could really begin to trade energy as the price fluctuated with demand. I'd like to know how many flywheels you'd need to make a real difference; it's going to be a lot obviously.

I'm not saying Energiestro looks good; far from it. But the concept might have merit vs batteries.

When a flywheel fractures, pieces are thrown out in a 360 degree arc with enough energy to kill or seriously damage structures. You can't 'point' it at something harmless, unless you stick them in a cave/large bunker. It needs to be completely surrounded.

Lab centrifuges are essentially flywheels, carrying quite a lot of energy. If a student so much as forgets to make sure his sample vials are exactly the same weight, the centrifuge could essentially explode. They're shielded with thick steel plating to protect against this, but there are several reports of rotor parts going through the steel plating, then continuing through any nearby walls.

no-one saying the flywheels are safe ;-) that's why you have to have them perfectly balanced and sitting in a high quality bearings.
our world is full of "dangerous" flywheels and yet, we're still alive ;)
 


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